erikschwarz's Profile

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Best Valentine's Day Ambiance

Yes, I have been to Antoine's for V Day. Largely because my partner and I had neglected to make reservations anywhere else and Antoine's was able to seat us. It is of course a deeply historic restaurant, and there is something to be said for patronizing it on those grounds. If however you want a romantic and intimate dinner - perhaps including great food - I cannot recommend Antoine's. My clear choice among the three you give would be Bayona. Though not a particular favorite of mine, it is highly regarded and will deliver a quality dining experience in an attractive setting.

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Bayona
430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

Antoine's Restaurant
713 Saint Louis St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jan 05, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Two nights in New Orleans, near Sheraton on Canal Street -- want food I can eat only in NO.

" I admit that I am now but a tourist, but one who grew up in NOLA (the city) and one who did marry a local."

We would never call you a tourist. (Grenade drink in hand, Mardi Gras beads out of season, tee shirts at dinner.) You are an expatriate!

Jan 05, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Two nights in New Orleans, near Sheraton on Canal Street -- want food I can eat only in NO.

You are still as blonde as ever. Ruby Slipper has opened a location at 200 Magazine Street, corner of Common.

Jan 05, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Two nights in New Orleans, near Sheraton on Canal Street -- want food I can eat only in NO.

Galatoire's requires a jacket only after 5 pm and on Sundays. As I wrote above, one might feel more comfortable there in a jacket; however, it is de rigueur only as specified.

Your terrible experience at Palace Cafe was anomalous. They are a well-oiled Brennan's operation and generally deliver standard if unexceptional NO cuisine at the lower end of the Brennan price spectrum. Current deals there include weekday happy hours with $5 small plates, wine and cocktails.

Ruby Slipper is best known for breakfast, but they are making a real effort with lunches at their new downtown location. And while one can get eggs and pancakes elsewhere, if staying at the Sheraton one cannot get them any closer excepting in hotel.

The Italian-Creole (or Creole-Italian) style, of which Irene's is an exemplar, is indeed "special to New Orleans" and is well documented in our local food literature.

Agreed that Green Goddess is far more eclectic than New Orleanian in any conventional sense, though co-owner Chris DeBarr is a beloved local chef. Most of the better restaurants in town will fix a nice vegetarian plate. I have been told on more than one occasion that the cooks enjoy the challenge. Wonder whether that is true.

Jan 05, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Two nights in New Orleans, near Sheraton on Canal Street -- want food I can eat only in NO.

You have gotten some good recs from Littleman, Bill Hunt and texasredtop. All authentic and well-regarded New Orleans spots within walking distance from the Sheraton. At some of them, notably Galatoire's, you might feel more comfortable in a jacket.

Here are a couple of other casual options, both on your hotel's doorstep:
1) Palace Cafe - Brennan family operation like Mr. B's but a bit less splendid, just across Canal
2) Ruby Slipper - local fave for hearty breakfasts and lunches, practically behind your hotel

About Cochon: it is much less cosmo fine dining and much more Cajun than you think. It is where Donald Link really lets his Acadian roots show. Not that you need go there. A bit far to walk, and besides you have Cajun covered with Bon Ton and K-Paul's,

Finally, yes, K-Paul's is good. I recommend the casual "Deli-Style Lunch," served Thursday-Saturday. Very solid bargain and do not worry: it ain't pastrami sandwiches but rather down-home South Louisiana food.

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Palace Cafe
605 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jan 04, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

My Wifes 40th Birthday trip to NOLA. Recomendations please.

Unfortunately the "edit" functions on this website just will not behave, rather like Mr. I. J. Reilly, Esq.

Jan 04, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

My Wifes 40th Birthday trip to NOLA. Recomendations please.

With respect, I differ about Joey K's. Not a fan. For casual dining on Magazine Street I would recommend, from farthest downtown to farthest uptown:

Ignatius - 4200 Magazine
Casamento's - 4330 Magazine
Guy's Po Boys - 5257 Magazine

If you want a break from NO cuisine, Cafe Abyssinia is a newly-opened hole in the wall with very good Ethiopian food at 3511 Magazine.

I have heard great things about Bouligny, per anneson's recommendation, at 3641 Magazine but have not yet gotten there.

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Ignatius Eatery
4200 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Jan 04, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Trader Joe's - I don't get it.

If you find Trader Joe's unbearable because it is overrun with yuppie families, you had better take medication before setting foot in Whole Foods. It's Yuppie Gothic in there!

Jan 04, 2011
erikschwarz in Chains

Cafe's or lunch spots in Ponchatoula?

Here is the link for Paul's Old Town Cafe, mentioned above by collardman: http://www.paulscafe.net/ Open 7 days a week until 2:30 pm. They tout the strawberry daiquiris, which likely are at their best when local berries are in season.

Another Ponchatoula option is the Taste of Bavaria, open for breakfast and lunch Wed-Sun. Although it was founded by non-Germans, the current owner is from Bayreuth (you can query her about the Wagner Festival) http://www.tasteofbavariarestaurant.com/

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Paul's Old Town Cafe
100 E Pine St, Ponchatoula, LA 70454

Jan 04, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Underrated cooking ingredients in America

Well, okra ain't takin' it no more! See pic of Fightin' Okra in my post above.

Jan 04, 2011
erikschwarz in General Topics

Cafe's or lunch spots in Ponchatoula?

All I ever hear about Ponchatoula is the Strawberry Festival. Rockefeller's Restaurant, on NW Railroad Ave, looks possible. http://rockefellersrestaurant.com/ And you have some options en route. If you are approaching northbound on Hwy 55, you will hit Middendorf's in Manchac shortly before Ponchatoula. If approaching westbound on 12, you could stop in Mandeville, where there are many choices, including Rip's on the Lake and Mandina's Northshore (same ownership as Canal Street). Unfortunately Nuvolari's offers dinner only, as does La Provence - except for Sunday brunch - just to the east of Mandeville in Lacombe .

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La Provence
25020 Highway 190, Lacombe, LA 70445

Mandinas Restaurant
4240 Highway 22 Ste 2, Mandeville, LA 70471

Jan 04, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Dumb Diners -- Maybe even YOU?

You mean I should stop "eating crow"? "Pie charts" are off the menu? No more juicing "Fruit of the Loom"? Who knew? Can I sue Webster's Dictionary?

Jan 04, 2011
erikschwarz in Not About Food

Pescetarian Downtown

Everything is relative. By the standards of many cities, both Galatoire's and Le Foret are reasonably and moderately priced. I do not know where the OP is coming from, so I gave a range from P & G upwards.

Jan 04, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Best Food Films - any new additions?

Best animated feature food film:
Ratatouille.

Best sci-fi film about food:
Soylent Green

Most longwinded:
My Dinner with Andre

Darkest "family film":
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

And though not a fave of mine, some like:
Mystic Pizza

Have not seen but heard good things about:
Fast Food Nation
Super Size Me

Vilest food films:
Delicatessen
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover
Eating Raoul
The Road to Wellville

And finally, most unnecessary remake of a classic Charlie Chaplin bit:
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in Food Media & News

Turducken -- Good or just a novelty.

Neither. Though it might make for good dog food (see photo below).

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in General Topics

San Francisco restaurants

Oh no, another entry on my hit list - Ubuntu! Though I rarely get to Napa.

Speaking of ingredients, I do envy the profusion of great produce available to you. Our markets offer some great fruit and veg, but we do not have your great variety.

As for innovation, New Orleans has it aplenty, though it tends to be driven by idiosyncratic cooks and restaurants rather than by trends.

The slider trend has reached us, however, and John Besh now makes them. I think their best use is as a plot point in "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle."

I cannot see sous vide cookery catching on here - just too sterile and scientific. Exploring bold new frontiers in frying is more our style.

And let no one mess with the beignet!

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in San Francisco Bay Area

Underrated cooking ingredients in America

Indeed. Okra is a staple in South Louisiana, where I live.

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in General Topics

one meal

There is a very nice little restaurant a block away from Tip's: Dick and Jenny's. They open at 5:30 pm. Btw, I hate to add to your hangover, but your hotel has a very good bar in the lobby: the Swizzle Stick. They chip their ice from a big block and make one of my favorite cocktails, the Whiskey Smash. If you are feeling lazy about seeking out your dinner, slouch over from the bar to the associated restaurant, Cafe Adelaide. It is owned and operated by the same branch of the Brennan family that has Commander's Palace, and it is reliably good.

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Cafe Adelaide
300 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Dick & Jenny's
4501 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

San Francisco restaurants

Thank you for appreciating my appreciation of Tadich. I shall have to try some of your '"california style" picks on my next trip to SF. The only ones with which I am familiar are Commonwealth and Commis.

As for the characteristics you outline - local sourcing, adherence to terroir, comfort food - these have been hallmarks of South Louisiana foodways since forever and continue strong. My partner eats pretty much only Creole tomatoes - grown in the alluvial soil of certain river parishes. And some locals know the Gulf oysterbeds by number designation and can discourse knowledgeably about recent history and prevailing conditions in each. There is nothing new and trendy about this, nor is it class-based. South Louisianans both rich and poor, urban and rural, black, white, Creole and otherwise share these foodways and have done so for many generations.

I guess everything old is new again!

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in San Francisco Bay Area

Pescetarian Downtown

Hope you have a great trip, and afterwards please post a review here if you have time. About Bennachin: I did not include it in my posts above for two reasons.

1) I thought it might be a bit too much of a walk into the Lower Quarter to be convenient.

2) More important, Bennachin is a good restaurant - where I enjoy dining on occasion - but hardly an outstanding one. If you have regular access to West African cuisine, you might find it somewhat disappointing. The fritters are delicious though!

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Bennachin Restaurant
1212 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

San Francisco restaurants

P.S. While I would never discourage dining at Vietnamese restaurants - their cuisine is one of my favorites - we are blessed with a number of good ones in New Orleans. As opposed to Chinese restaurants, of which NO has no real standouts IMHO.

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in San Francisco Bay Area

Not so touristy food in touristy DC

I included neither the Cascade Cafe nor the Garden Cafe in my first post because I was not clear that the OP intended to stop at the National Gallery. If he does, he will find good choices at both cafes, per Steve and redfish62.

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in Washington DC & Baltimore

Galatoire's Friday lunch...questions

Throw on a jacket. Go to Galatoire's. Have fun!

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Galatoire's Restaurant
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

San Francisco restaurants

I am a New Orleanian who visits San Francisco regularly. I endorse steve h's and sfbing's recommendations of Yank Sing. You will find fierce debates on other SF boards where critics of and partisans for YS go at each other, but the bottom line is that the dim sum there is far better than we can get in NO.

Yank Sing is not a budget-buster, but it takes some flak for being more expensive than most other SF dim sum purveyors. If you are up for a funky hole in the wall with good food - sort of like the Domilise's of dim sum - try Good Luck. Koi Palace is also highly regarded, but you likely do not want to schlep to Daly City.

I also endorse bbulkow's suggestion to include an SF-specific restaurant. Here is my candidate: Tadich Grill, a classic dating back to 1849. The sand dabs are great as are several of the other seafood dishes. And if you get a hankering - Swan Oyster Depot, a Polk Street old-timer with a superb raw bar. Both Tadich and Swan have loads of character - and characters.

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Koi Palace Restaurant
365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

Tadich Grill
240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Yank Sing Banquet & Catering
101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Swan Oyster Depot
1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Good Luck Dim Sum
736 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in San Francisco Bay Area

Not so touristy food in touristy DC

I think you will find that most of the museums do not allow you to bring in food and beverages, other than bottled water. The National Zoo encourages picnicking, but that would not be much fun on a cold winter day.

If you want to dine in the Smithsonian museums, there are a variety of options. None are outstanding, so far as I know, but here are a few interesting ones:

1. Mitsitam Cafe - Museum of the American Indian - advertises "authentic Native foods" from around the Western hemisphere

2. Courtyard Cafe - National Portrait Gallery - has seasonal menus in a pleasant setting

3. Castle Cafe and Coffee Bar - Smithsonian Castle - espresso, cappuccino, gelato, panini and more in one of DC's coolest buildings

You can see more at http://www.gosmithsonian.com/dining/S...

The Newseum has a Wolfgang Puck restaurant called "The Source" as well as a food court,
See http://www.newseum.org/plan-your-visi...
and http://www.newseum.org/plan-your-visi...

You can see Spy Museum's dining recs at http://www.spymuseum.org/dining

Hope that helps!

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in Washington DC & Baltimore

Pete's Apizza v. 2 Amy's?

Have returned to DC after 6 months absence and am delighted to find that 2 Amys has a worthy competitor in the Upper Northwest thin-crust-pizza derby. I just dined at the Tenleytown/Friendship location of Pete's Apizza (have not been to the Columbia Heights shop) and give it a thumbs up. My dining companions, who are neighborhood mavens, said they prefer it to 2 Amys. I give the win to 2 Amys by a nose for the following reasons: better balance of ingredients on the Margherita pie, my favorite, with more mozzarella and basil as well as more interesting salads and other non-pizza items on the menu. Also, thinness of crust. I realize that Pete's New-Haven style calls for a slightly thicker crust than 2 Amy's pie, but I prefer the very thin. In Pete's favor: crispiness. I think the crust we enjoyed was representative and that they care about and deliver consistent crispiness. I have been served more than one soggy pie at 2 Amys. Another plus for Pete's: their system moves crowds through the dining process faster than 2 Amys old-school table service. And the self-service soda fountain with a variety of Boylan's choices is sure to be a hit with kids. Both 2 Amys and Pete's rooms are noisy and family-friendly. How do others rate these two restaurants?

Caveat: Vace in Cleveland Park sells a very worthy pie too, but since they are a grocery/deli rather than a restaurant, I have not included them in the comparison.

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Two Amys
3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016

Pete's Apizza
, Washington, DC 20001

Jan 03, 2011
erikschwarz in Washington DC & Baltimore

Pescetarian Downtown

I think it may be weekdays only. Call and check. Btw, most of my recs are super close to your hotel.

Jan 01, 2011
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Take Out For New Years Eve

You are most welcome. Bonne annee et bonne sante!

Dec 31, 2010
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Take Out For New Years Eve

Great place with a great mission, but unfortunately they stay closed Dec 23-Jan 2.

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Cafe Reconcile
1631 Oretha C Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70113

Dec 31, 2010
erikschwarz in New Orleans

Only a Boston-area hound would...

...wear a Red Sox ballcap to afternoon tea at the Athenaeum.

Dec 31, 2010
erikschwarz in Greater Boston Area